OPEN Lewis Longhouse

Being Responsible

The Longhouse was designed to be in keeping with the local environment and built to the highest sustainability standards. We wanted this ‘eco-house’ to have energy-efficiency but also cost-efficiency at its core whilst offering guests superb levels of comfort and facilities. We are proud to be the first home in the Western Isles to achieve ‘AA’ EPC rating and set ourselves high standards.

Though often called the ‘eco-house’ locally early days when it was built, our actions here will always be meaningful and relevant, driven by a desire to do the right thing, not just to tick ‘eco-boxes’. Our values underpin our behaviour. They are not an afterthought. From house design to hand soaps, we aim to have as low an impact as possible whilst still giving every consideration to the needs of our guests and the most comfortable living space.

Our commitment is underpinned by 6 principle action areas: (click on tabs for more)


Reduce our consumption of resources and minimising the amount of waste:

  • The building design incorporates energy-efficient features such as solar gain heating and fully insulted building and low thermal loss windows, all contributing to our AA EPC rating, a first for the islands.
  • Monitor to minimise – weekly tracking of power generation/usage as part of the UK Feed-In Tariff scheme
  • We minimise energy use as checked by the Energy Isles project by e.g. using LEDs, switching off, managing water heating and ensuring room stats are set appropriately.
  • An air source heat pump uses external ambient heat energy for heating and hot water.
  • All taps and shower heads are low-flow or aerated to save water but still ensure youll always get a decent shower! Our kettle can boil just a small amount of water for a single cup of tea!
  • A bag for life is provided to guests for their shopping whilst on Lewis and to take home with them.
  • We encourage guests to explore the surrounding area which is accessible by foot or bike straight from the door, with lots of local OS maps, walking/cycling route guides and wildlife guides.
  • We are on the local bus route and timetables are provided, encouraging guests at minimum to leave the car behind for a night out in Stornoway!


Reuse materials as much as is practical to extend their useful life.

  • Linens or crockery which have served their purpose for guests but are still good quality are donated to local charities, charity shop for others to buy and treasure or used by ourselves at home!
  • We have moved to rechargeable batteries wherever possible in appliances for the house.
  • We avoid disposable items and choose alternatives e.g. in bulk buying or providing full-size shampoos and liquid soaps which can be refilled for guests and picnicware which can be used over and over.
  • We aim to repair first rather than just replace, and do that in a 5-star way.


Recycle products to recover and reuse the components, materials and energy

  • We actively encourage separation of waste and participation in all Council recycling opportunities on this island location, separating waste into our clearly labelled recycle bins. In fact our recycling bins are often so full, our guests are clearly doing their bit!


Share – to think and act in a more considerate and constructive way.

  • Inspire our guests to make one small change. We believe 100 people making 1% change will have more impact than 1 person making a 100% change.
  • Use local and fairtrade suppliers and seasonally available foods; encourage guests to do the same
  • Support our community wherever possible by using local producers, restaurants, pubs, cafes,  and always promoting local tourist attractions, shops, cultural or creative events.
  • Provide local information to guests and support local small businesses, to keep money local.
  • We listen to feedback and new ideas from our guests and hope they can also help us in our efforts to conserve energy.
  • In addition to being members of industry associations, we also support the Green Tourism Business scheme and the Tourism is for Everybody campaign.


Benign production of materials, processes and energy so the resources we do consume are as low in environmental impact as possible.

  • 4KW PV panels, significant insulation way beyond that which is required, 8.5kw ASHP, minimum A energy-efficient appliances and low energy LED light bulbs throughout the house - all contribute to low energy consumption.
  • We have an EV chargepoint at the Longhouse so guests with an electric/hybrid car can recharge, making use of our own solar energy in daytime.
  • Use natural, recycled or sustainably sourced materials wherever possible – recycled paper products and eco-cleaning materials
  • The house construction is primarily of wood, built by local contractors, with some elements sourced locally. Use of high energy cement and mortars was kept to a minimum in foundations and stone work only or where other options were uneconomic.
  • We’ve taken advantage of natural light and heat from the sun through large areas of highly insulated glazing to the south, east and west.
  • Guests are encouraged to heat water and use appliances such as the washing machine, daytime, when PV panels mean we are generating it ourselves.
  • A highly efficient multi-fuel stove takes its combustion air supply directly from the outside to avoid draughts and firewood is sourced locally from managed woodland.


Offset the net energy we do consume.

  • Maintain the reeds by the Longhouse as a natural habitat for wildlife and birds, encouraging guests to record which birds they spot in and around the garden.
  • The garden area is left to grass with the local wild and machair flowers growing through the reeds each spring.
  • We donate annually tolocal charities, doubling at least, the value of coins left by guests to pay for phonecalls made by them. OIiur ’Change for Charity’.
  • We encourge guests to leave the car at home occasionally and make use of local bus route to enjoy a day or evening in Stornoway.
  • We provide bikes for guest use and provide a range of local maps and walking guides for exploring by foot.

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The Longhouse

The Longhouse, on the Isle of Lewis, is set low on the hillside 50m walk from the beach with wide, uninterrupted views east, south and west. Soak up the views and watch the skies change through floor-to-ceiling windows, south over the bay and reeds beds, east to stunning sunrises over that bay or west to a sunset over the moors.

Contact Us

Lewis Longhouse

40C Coll
Isle of Lewis

+44 (0)1425 483078
+44 (0)7961 445632

Where to Find Us